Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage on Francisco Liriano’s turnaround

Last year, starting pitcher Francisco Liriano entered free agency as a struggling starter looking to play his way back into an MLB starting rotation. He went just 3-10 with the Minnesota Twins in 2012, was dealt to the Chicago White Sox where he was demoted to the bullpen, and finished the year with a 5.34 ERA.

After inking a two-year, $12.75 million deal in free agency with the Pirates, things took a turn for the worse Liriano. He failed his physical in Pittsburgh due to an injury to his non-throwing arm and his contract was voided. The two sides renegotiated for months, and in the end, Liriano settled on a one-year, $3.75 million deal with a vesting option for 2014 with Pittsburgh.

This season, Liriano returned to the form that landed him a spot in the 2006 All-Star Game: 16 wins, eight losses and a 3.02 ERA in 26 starts. Behind Liriano’s rebirth, the Pirates made the postseason for the first time in two decades. It was fitting that Clint Hurdle turned to Liriano to start in the NL Wild Card game against the Reds – and even more fitting that Liriano limited Cincinnati to one run over seven innings.

Liriano’s big season continued Sunday, as he held the St. Louis Cardinals to two runs over six innings, and Pittsburgh pulled ahead in the NLDS 2-1 with a 5-3 win. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage joined Jim Duquette and Jim Bowden on The Front Office on MLB Network Radio and discussed fixing Liriano’s delivery this season.

I don’t want to sound arrogant, but as an organization we believe that we can fix anybody and a delivery because we have a lot of talented people all up and down the chain […] When he came over and what we saw and what we got we go ‘Hey, we can do this, this is fixable, we can fix this.’

The Pirates host the Cardinals in Game 4 Monday at 3 pm ET. MLB Network Radio will have comprehensive coverage of the postseason through the last out of the World Series on Sirius channel 209 and XM channel 89.

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